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Wear a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 9:01pm

You should wear a mask when you leave the house. In East Asia and the Czech Republic, huge numbers of people now wear masks, and that has greatly reduced the spread of coronavirus. Mask-wearing is a key reason why coronavirus is more under control in East Asian places like Hong Kong and Taiwan than in […]

The post Wear a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Biden seems to suggest the pandemic we are the facing be named for the person shown

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 2:08pm

Biden's suggestion, even if he managed to say the name "Wuhan" right, still identifies the pathogen with the city in China where the first cases were diagnosed.

The post Biden seems to suggest the pandemic we are the facing be named for the person shown appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Eurobonds: A Further Threat to the Long-Run Viability of the European Union

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 12:54pm

Motivated in part by a sensible desire for free trade, six nations from Western Europe signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957, thus creating the European Economic Community (EEC). Sort of a European version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (now known as USMCA).

Some supporters of the EEC also were motivated by a desire for some form of political unification and their efforts eventually led to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union – along with increased powers for a Brussels-based bureaucracy (the European Commission).

There are significant reasons to think that this evolution – from a Europe based on free trade and mutual recognition to a Europe based on supranational governance – was an unfortunate development.

Back in 2015, I warned that this system would “morph over time into a transfer union. And that means more handouts, more subsidies, more harmonization, more bailouts, more centralization, and more bureaucracy.”

A few years earlier, when many of Europe’s welfare states were dealing with a fiscal crisis, I specifically explained why it would be a very bad idea to have “eurobonds,” which would mean – for all intents and purposes – that reasonably well governed nations such as Germany and Sweden would be co-signing loans for poorly governed countries such as Italy and Greece.

Well, this bad idea has resurfaced. Politicians from several European nations are using the coronavirus as an excuse (“never let a crisis go to waste“) to push for a so-called common debt instrument.

Letter from @emmanuelmacron @antoniocostapm et al to @eucopresident on the need for Common Debt Issuance. Note the absence to references to the ESM instruments… pic.twitter.com/69kLToQrxG

— Shahin Vallée (@Shahinvallee) March 25, 2020

Here are the relevant parts of the letter.

…we need to work on a common debt instrument issued by a European institution to raise funds on the market on the same basis and to the benefits of all Member States, thus ensuring stable long term financing… The case for such a common instrument is strong, since we are all facing a symmetric external shock, for which no country bears responsibility, but whose negative consequences are endured by all. And we are collectively accountable for an effective and united European response. This common debt instrument should have sufficient size and long maturity to be fully efficient… The funds collected will be targeted to finance in all Member States the necessary investments in the healthcare system and temporary policies to protect our economies and social model.

Lots of aspirational language, of course, but no flowery words change the fact that “collectively accountable” means European-wide debt and “social model” means welfare state.

wrote last year that globalization is good whereas global governance is bad. Well, this is the European version.

The Wall Street Journal opined against the concept. Here’s some background information.

Bad crises tend to produce worse policy… We speak of proposals for “corona bonds,” an idea floated as a fiscal solution to Europe’s deepening pandemic. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte launched the effort, and French President Emmanuel Macron this week joined Mr. Conte and seven other leaders in backing such a bond issue for health-care expenditures and economic recovery. Some 400 economists have joined the chorus. …The bonds would be backed collectively by member governments. The proceeds could be allocated to members such as Italy that otherwise couldn’t borrow from private markets. …Calls for euro bonds last hit a crescendo during the debt crises of 2010-12, when they were pitched to fund bailouts of Greece and others. But the idea has never gone anywhere because it would transform the eurozone into something voters didn’t approve when the currency was created in the 1990s.

And here’s the editorial’s explanation of why eurobonds would be a very bad idea.

Europeans were promised the euro would not become an excuse or vehicle for large fiscal transfers between member states. …Proponents say corona bonds are a special case due to the unfolding economic emergency. But the Italian government that now can’t finance its own recovery was also one of the worst fiscal offenders before Covid-19… Claims that the corona bond would be temporary aren’t credible because European elites have wanted such a facility for years… Voters can assume that if they get these bonds in a crisis, they’ll be stuck with this facility forever. …euro bonds would create profound governance problems. …With corona bonds, German and Dutch taxpayers for the first time are being asked to write a blank check to Italy and perhaps others.

Amen.

Once the camel’s nose is under the tent, it would simply be a matter of time before eurobonds would become a vehicle for bigger government in general and more country-to-country transfers in particular.

Hopefully this terrible idea will be blocked by nations such as Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands (this satirical video will give you an idea of the tension between the European nations that foot the bills and the ones looking for handouts).

Some advocates for eurobonds say there’s nothing to worry about since the European Commission and related pan-European bureaucracies currently don’t spend much money, at least when measured as a share of overall economic output.

Which is why I sometimes warn my European friends that the United States is an example of why they should be vigilant.

For much of American history, the central government in Washington was very small, as envisioned by the Founders. But beginning with the so-called Progressive Era and then dramatically accelerating under the failed policies of Hoover and Roosevelt, the federal government has expanded dramatically in both size and scope.

The lesson to be learned is that more centralization is a very bad idea, particularly if that centralized form of government gains fiscal power.

That’s especially true for Europe since the burden of government spending at the national level already is excessive. Eurobonds would exacerbate the damage by creating a new European-wide method of spending money.

P.S. While eurobonds are a very bad idea, it would be even worse (akin to the U.S. approving the 16th Amendment) if the European Union somehow got the authority to directly impose taxes.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo: Trump OK with allowing elderly to die to restore the U.S. economy

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 11:54am

Not only has Trump not done enough to mitigate the pandemic in the Left's estimation. He has also done too much — meaning, according to CNN's Chris Cuomo, that he is now advocating allowing the elderly to die in order to salvage the U.S. economy.

The post CNN’s Chris Cuomo: Trump OK with allowing elderly to die to restore the U.S. economy appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Ocasio-Cortez throws tantrum on House floor over $2.2T COVID-19 stimulus

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 11:16am

It is conceivable that voters who want passion from their political leaders will find Ocasio-Cortez's antics refreshing. Most, I suspect, will agree that it is high time to send this child to bed without her dinner.

The post Ocasio-Cortez throws tantrum on House floor over $2.2T COVID-19 stimulus appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

Why disease and xenophobia go hand in hand

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 10:48am

Yahoo News (Bloomberg)

The post Why disease and xenophobia go hand in hand appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

When asked why Obama didn’t restock N95 masks, Biden distances himself from administration

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 10:25am

Biden has no record of accomplishments to run on, so he has been helping himself to credit for his former boss's achievements by referring to the previous administration as a tag team of sorts.

The post When asked why Obama didn’t restock N95 masks, Biden distances himself from administration appeared first on Liberty Unyielding.

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